Say goodbye to Adrian Cardenas, A’s fans. The Chicago Cubs reportedly claimed infielder Adrian Cardenas on Monday and designated Blake DeWitt for assignment to make room for Cardenas on the 40-man roster. Cardenas, 24, appeared in 124 games last year with the Sacramento River Cats, putting together a .314/.374/.418 with five home runs and 51 RBIs.
The former Oakland infielder prospect was acquired in the trade that sent pitcher Joe Blanton to the Philadelphia Phillies, but Cardenas never found himself at “home” with the A’s. Cardenas didn’t fit in at third base, a position of weakness for Oakland, and didn’t have much of a future anywhere else in the rest of the infield.
He split his playing time last year between left field, third, short stop, and second base. The A’s definitely kept Cardenas moving around last year, but never quite found a spot for him where he truly excelled in. Billy Beane’s brain-trust wanted to keep Cardenas, but even if they had kept him, where would the A’s have put Cardenas in 2012?
He certainly wouldn’t have fit in the crowded outfield and he certainly would have found himself playing second fiddle to breakout star Jemile Weeks. Somebody had to go, after all, in order to make room for Jonny Gomes.
The A’s designated Cardenas for assignment last week after acquiring the free agent outfielder Gomes. Gomes, 31, hit well against left-handed pitching last year and could help Bob Melvin’s lineup against left-handed opponents.
Cardenas, meanwhile, will look to help the Cubs this year. He didn’t fit in Jemile Week’s Oakland, but hopefully Cardenas gets a chance to establish himself in Chicago’s system. Good luck, Cardenas!